The Legislative Yuan yesterday afternoon issued a statement protesting China’s introduction of a new travel pass for Taiwanese, following a delay to Premier Mao Chi-kuo’s (毛治國) policy address due to Taiwan Solidarity Union (TSU) lawmakers occupying the legislative speaker’s podium in the morning.
The three TSU lawmakers occupied the podium and held up signs accusing China’s unilateral launch of the new smartcard-like “Taiwan compatriot travel document” (台胞證) as a unilateral change to the “status quo,” saying that cross-strait exchanges should be halted.
A cross-party negotiation was held, presided over by Legislative Speaker Wang Jin-pyng (王金平), resulting in a joint statement requiring Mao to present a special report on the issue, alongside his policy report.
Photo: Liao Chen-huei, Taipei Times
“Also, based on the principle of reciprocal respect and equal footing, [we] demand that [Beijing] conduct sufficient communication and negotiation with [Taiwan] on issues concerning the rights of people on both sides of the Taiwan Strait in cross-strait exchanges. The executive branch should make sure that it [adheres to this directive] and protests to [China] in order to sternly express our stance and maintain the dignity of the nation’s sovereignty,” the statement said.
In Mao’s report on the new travel pass, the premier addressed China’s governance, saying that due to the special relationship between the two sides — in which “the two sides do not recognize each other’s sovereignty, but do not deny respective jurisdictions” — people traveling between China and Taiwan have been using special passes, rather than passports, for entry, “but the pass issued by our government has ‘Republic of China’ [ROC] with the national flag on it, and we also have strict measures overseeing the entry of Chinese.”
“The unilateral move by China will not change the current relationship between the two sides of the Taiwan Strait,” Mao said.
“The cross-strait relationship based on the ROC Constitution and the ‘status quo’ upheld by our policy and the popular support will definitely not be altered by any unilateral Chinese move,” he said.
Mao also reiterated that according to an analysis, the capacity of the microchip embedded in the card is small, with less than 0.1 megabytes of storage.
“And [the Chinese] have informed us that the card contains one-time programming, meaning that it cannot be rewritten,” Mao said.
“They also clarified on Monday, the day of the implementation, in response to our Mainland Affairs Council’s press release, that the card is no different than the paper pass in terms of function,” Mao added.
VOTERS’ CHOICE: The DPP’s Chen and independent candidate Huang conceded defeat before 7:20pm, with Chiang pledging to remain humble and do his best Legislator Chiang Wan-an (蔣萬安) yesterday won the Taipei mayoral election, with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidate defeating the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) pick, former minister of health and welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), and former Taipei deputy mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊), an independent. After polling stations closed at 4pm, the Taipei Election Commission issued a preliminary estimate that voter turnout in the city was about 64 percent, slightly lower than in 2018. Chiang, 43, is to be the youngest Taipei mayor ever, with the KMT regaining the capital after eight years. Chen had an exceptionally high national approval rating when he was head
FAMILY BACKGROUND: Chiang was effective in running a cautious campaign to avoid making mistakes, waiting for other candidates to slip up, an analyst said Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Taipei Mayor-elect Chiang Wan-an (蔣萬安) stood out among his rivals due to his energy, his die-hard supporters and his relative openness to discuss issues such as same-sex marriage, a political analyst said yesterday. Chiang’s campaign was also aided by his family’s background in politics, which helped him garner greater support in Taipei where there is a large KMT base, said the analyst, who chose to remain anonymous. “Chiang is also not a typical KMT member when it comes to certain issues, such as gay marriage, and his more open stance widened his support base — particularly among young
First-time politician Mai Yamada’s (山田摩衣) Japanese name has attracted attention in Chinese-language media after her win in the New Taipei City Council election on Saturday. Born to a Taiwanese mother and Japanese father, the 32-year-old Taiwanese-Japanese stood out after becoming one of nine elected city councilors in Banciao District (板橋) in the nation’s local government elections on Saturday. Although she has a Japanese name, she grew up and was educated in Taiwan, Yamada said, adding that “Taiwan is my home.” Before running for local government, Yamada, who speaks fluent Japanese and English, was Legislative Speaker You Si-kun’s (游錫堃) secretary. She has been involved in
Mask easing: Teachers are allowed to take their masks off while lecturing indoors, but students should keep theirs on, as COVID-19 measures ease this week The Ministry of Education (MOE) yesterday released new on-campus COVID-19 prevention guidelines, stating that masks can be taken off while exercising, singing, dancing, performing, taking photographs, dining, drinking, video and voice recording, hosting events, presenting speeches and lecturing outdoors. Large outdoor events organized by schools should comply with the mask regulations issued by the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), it added. The new guidelines came into effect yesterday, and people in Taiwan are no longer required to wear masks outdoors for the first time since May 19 last year. The CECC announced the easing of the mask mandate on Monday, adding that it